Posted on Apr 03, 2018, 5 p.m.
Regular table salt, meh, who wants that stuff containing iodine and fluoride, no thanks, bleurgh. In the great salt debate a few names get throw into the salt off, with both natural sea and Himalayan salt rise to the top of spice pile.
Both Himalayan and sea salt share certain similar characteristics, but they do have a few notable differences between them. Himalayan salt is found around the Punjab region of Pakistan, and has been mined and used from for nearly 1,000 years, but may date further back. Sea salt is not extracted from mineral deposits, it is extracted directly from seawater.
Sea salt can range from greens, reds, gray, to pitch black in colour, as it gets extracted from seawater all over the world with different mineral compositions and algae that may change the flavour and colour of it. Himalayan salt is pink due to the rock ore colour it is extracted from which is primarily influenced by rich iron concentrations.
Both salts are natural salts and may contain some mineral impurities such as high levels of copper and lead due to environmental pollution. Chemical composition of Himalayan salt is mainly composed of sodium chloride making it similar to both sea and table salt from a chemistry point of view.
Taste bud wise in salty terms there isn’t much difference between sea and Himalayan salt. Larger more granular types of salt tend to have a more saltier taste. Both of these salts boast a cleaner flavour than that of table salt due to their mineral content, these natural salts tend to dull sharpness of table salt in culinary dishes.
Sea salt has a softer texture with natural moisture and dissolves more easily when used in foods. Himalayan and sea salt both tend to be more coarse than other natural salt varieties making them a popular finishing touch to top certain culinary plates, as both work equally well as finishing salts.
Himalayan salt needs to be processed and purified before it can be added to food, processing still leaves this natural salt with additional benefit over table salt. Sea salt is produced via evaporation of seawater due to heat of the sun, using less processing in production.
Sea salt contains some trace minerals including zinc, potassium, and iron, and is claimed that darker varieties of sea salt contain more sulfate which can be beneficial. Himalayan salt contains iron oxide content as well as other trace minerals.
Some people swear by use of Himalayan salt lamps and baths that can aid in health in a number of ways from protecting the respiratory system to detoxifying the body, but there is not much research to verify these claims.
There may not be many differences between sea or Himalayan salt, another thing they have in common is the main health benefit being that they are both natural salts containing very tiny amounts of iodine, as opposed to regular iodized table salt which also contains fluoride. So why not go ahead and do yourself a favour a throw out that regular iodized table salt and experiment with the different types of natural salts to find out which one you like best.
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